The United States announced on Wednesday that it will send its chief diplomat for Europe and Eurasia to Azerbaijan tomorrow to discuss strengthening bilateral relations and to emphasize Washington’s commitment to the peace process, TURAN’s U.S. correspondent reports.

Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien "will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan and Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 27-29," the State Department said in a release.

In Baku, O’Brien will meet with senior Azerbaijani government officials, including Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, to "highlight progress in the U.S.-Azerbaijan bilateral relationship and U.S. support toward the conclusion of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan," as the Department put it.

He will also meet with members of civil society to reiterate the urgency of Azerbaijan adhering to its international human rights commitments.

O’Brien recently returned from a trip to Yerevan where he led a strategic dialogue with Armenia and met with the country's leaders as well as civil society representatives.

Prior to heading to Baku, O’Brien will today testify before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on State budget request, where he is expected to lay out some of the administration's efforts in the South Caucasus, especially with respect to Georgia, Armenia, as well as the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia TURAN was informed by congressional sources.

Following his meeting in Baku tomorrow, O’Brien will travel to Croatia to attend the Dubrovnik Forum and discuss the Western Balkans’ Euro-Atlantic integration with European partners and allies.  

"In remarks to the forum, the Assistant Secretary will highlight U.S. support for unlocking the region’s reform potential.  Assistant Secretary O’Brien will also meet with senior Croatian government officials to discuss defense cooperation, energy security, and other key priorities in the U.S.-Croatia bilateral relationship," the State Department said.

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